Hampton Inn general contractor sues local company

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OXFORD — The general contractor for the Hampton Inn in Oxford is suing a local framing company for nearly $470,000 citing deficient work and failure to complete the scope of work.

The complaint filed in Oxford County Superior Court on Oct. 5 against Stephen Bourassa, owner of Alexander Construction in Minot, asks for a judgment of $469,564 for breaching the subcontractor’s contract including not having adequate workforce, not completing work on time, causing delays to other subcontractors and having major deficiencies in its work.

Alexander Construction was hired by general contractor Calamar Construction of New York, who was hired by developer GIRI Oxford I LLC of Massachusetts to build the $15 million Hampton Inn on Route 26, across the street from Oxford Casino. Another hotel is currently under construction at Oxford Casino.

On Jan. 29, 2016, Alexander Construction was given a three-day notice of termination from Calamar for “inability to meet project schedule, numerous deficiency in their work, lack of progressing in addressing deficiency and completing contracted work.”

As of Tuesday, Oct. 25, Alexander Construction had not answered the charges. The company has 20 days from the time it was served papers (Oct. 13) to answer the charges. If it fails to answer the charges or answers the charges and fails to appear in court, a judgment by default may be entered for the amount demanded in the complaint.

Scope of work

Under the scope of work for Calamar, dated Sept. 10, 2015, Alexander Construction was responsible for installation of floors, walls and floor and roof trusses, sheathing on the interior walls and floors and related work.

The work is considered critical to the completeness of the building and according to the complaint, “the work done by Alexander Construction was not done in a workmanlike manner, it was defective, which caused serious delays and unexpected expenses.” The complaint also states the deficiencies and delays of Alexander Construction greatly interfered and hindered the work of other subcontractors, which “created additional costs and expenses to Calamar Construction.”

The complaint described the work of the framing contractor.

“The framing contractor’s quality of work is critical to maintaining the final finished product and look of the building, wall straightness, bathroom dimensions, window openings, etc. all affect wallpaper, door hanging, tubs, drywalls, vanities, mirrors, surrounds and more,” according to documents filed in the lawsuit.

“The framing contractor shall see that other concerns are addressed and the building is framed correctly. The dimensions on the drawings must be refined to address all these situations. The framing contractor agrees to help refine the dimensions in order to make all components of the building work out correctly.”

The contract between the two parties stated that if the framing company has insufficient manpower to complete the work in a timely manner and it causes the owner of the building financial hardship, the owner can supplement, hire additional manpower or replace the existing contractor within 48 hours with notice.

Part of Alexander Construction’s scope of work was to obtain a certificate of occupancy by June 15, 2016.

According to court documents, during the tenure of Alexander Construction, several change orders took place that decreased the amount of money owed to the local company to $280,621, a decrease of almost $20,000. The final change order to the original agreement was a reduction of $10,240 as an allowance for truss repairs, according to complaint.

Liens plague hotel construction

The project has been plagued by a number of liens, including one filed by Alexander Construction earlier this year. Bourassa filed a notice of lien in the Oxford County Registry of Deeds East against Calamar Construction, in the amount of $53,897 for labor and materials furnished from September 2015 to Feb. 4, 2016.

In March 2015, Building Solutions LLC and Building Solutions Group LLC of Oxford (Joseph Casalinova, president of both groups) filed a lien against GIRI Oxford I LLC/GIRI Hotel Management in the amount of $88,982.85, according to records of the Oxford County Registry of Deeds.

The amount included $47,677 for hotel design and $41,305 for site permitting that was provided by the company from April 2013 until Dec. 17, 2014, according to records in the Oxford County Registry of Deeds. The lien was discharged in August 2015.

On Aug. 4, Seacoast Scaffold and Equipment Corporation filed a $8,909  lien against GIRI Oxford 1 LLC for rental equipment supplied to the property.

In early October, a fourth lien was placed against the general contractor of the Hampton Inn by a Coastal masonry and Contracting from Freeport in the amount of $29,186 for labor, materials and service to install masonry at the hotel.

Calamar said issues not rectified

In June, John K.S. Cleary, vice president for hospitality at Calamar, said the project was delayed by a local framer “who failed to perform as contracted and needed to be replaced.”

“We provided the framer an opportunity to rectify the issues and the framer did not do so,” said Cleary who did not name the company at that time. “We terminated his contract per our agreement and replaced him.”

Bourassa said in an August interview with the Advertiser Democrat that Calamar still owes him more than $90,000 but he prorated the amount to reflect the nearly $54,000 at the time the contract was terminated.

“They owe me a lot of money,” he said. “The longer it goes, that’s fine. It just holds up the project.”

Last week Town Manager Derik Goodine said he had an approximate 30-minute conversation with GIRI President Ash Sangani who assured him the hotel would be opened in about a month.

The roughly 4-acre property on Route 26 was sold by Suzanne Hall, owner of Crestholm Farms, to GIRI Oxford I LLC, a subsidiary of GIRI, in November 2013.

ldixon@sunmediagroup.net

Progress continued this week toward the opening of the Hampton Inn on Route 26 which is now set for about mid November.
Progress continued this week toward the opening of the Hampton Inn on Route 26 which is now set for about mid November.